With the Ft. Drum announcement looming, some state funding has been announced that officials hope will help stave off cuts to the local base. Several local hospitals along with the Development Authority of the North Country will be splitting $650,000 according to State Senator Patty Ritchie. Carthage Area Hospital has been given $150,000 to support emergency and operating room services, and for the hospital’s program that provides medical training to the Army’s own team of medical professionals. River Hospital in Alexandria Bay will receive a total of $175,000 to assist in the expansion of its highly successful “River Community Wellness Program,” which provides treatment and support to troops and veterans struggling with PTSD. Gouverneur Hospital will receive $100,000 to help in the purchase of new state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment. And Samaritan Medical Center will receive $125,000 towards a major expansion of the hospital’s maternity area. DANC was given $100,000 to support local government planning and coordination with Fort Drum authorities, replacing a key role formerly played by Army planners that was lost to federal budget cutbacks. The bulk of funding comes from a special “base retention” fund that was included in the State Budget at Senator Ritchie’s request.